How Hoegh is getting 2020 ready

Paul Gunton

Paul Gunton · 29 April 2019


With the 2020 fuel changes drawing closer, much advice has been issued to shipowners on how to meet the challenges, Norwegian car carrier operator Hoegh Autoliners has recently announced its strategy for the rapidly approaching deadline.

The company has adopted an anti scrubber stance and having chosen Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) and Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO) for complying with IMO 2020, is now preparing its fleet for the change in fuel. In the Bunker department, new bunker patterns are being planned for and in the commercial section, the new rules also require attention.

John Nilsen (Bunker Purchasing Manager), Håkon Kiil (Head of Business Analytics) and Geir Frode Abelsen (Head of Technical Operations)

IMO 2020 entails a great shift for the shipping industry and the preparations started long ago in Höegh Autoliners. Håkon Kiil, Head of Business Analytics is leading Höegh’s IMO 2020 implementation group and said, "We fully support the new regulations as this will improve the environment and people’s health. We have evaluated the alternative methods of IMO 2020 compliance, and decided to go for the new compliant fuel as the vast majority of the shipping companies. We have also started our preparations with tank cleaning as all tanks need to be compliant before 1 January 2020, and we expect to consume compliant fuel before the deadline."

With a fleet of 55 vessels, including 40 under Höegh’s own operational management, it is a substantial amount of bunker tanks that needs to be prepared for compliant fuel. “For us in Höegh, 40 vessels entails over 450 bunker tanks that must be cleaned according to IMO’s guidelines before end of 2019. This is a huge job”, explained Geir Frode Abelsen, Head of Technical Operations in Höegh Autoliners, who is responsible for getting the fleet ready for IMO 2020.

“Each tank will be cleaned twice according to a set method, before we can be sure that there is no residual from Heavy Sulphur Fuel left in them. This work has already started on board our vessels.” Frode said.

In addition to getting the vessels ready for the new fuel, the Bunker department follows the development on where compliant fuel will be made available. “There is still uncertainty connected to whether smaller bunker ports will have enough compliant fuel as we move in to 2020,” said John Nilsen, Bunker Purchasing Manager. “This is something we expect the refineries to show the shipping industry a solution to, before the new regulations take effect.”

In all Höegh’s commercial departments around the world, people are now also working to secure that our customers are ready for the change. “As we approach the end of 2019, we expect all commercial contracts to reflect the new compliant fuel”, Håkon concluded.

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